Enugu- Port Harcourt Highway
Enugu Port Harcourt expressway

Nigeria’s federal government says it plans to allow private individuals to build, operate or maintain assets on some federal highways that are up for concession under its new Highway Development and Management Initiative.

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance to the commence procurement process for the concession of 12 federal highways under the HDMI, PUNCH reported.

The concession of the roads may also signify the return of toll gates as concessionaires will have to recoup their investments.

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission had handed over the certificate to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the FMWH headquarters in Abuja.

In a new document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on how the HDMI partnership would be executed, the FMWH stated that there were two categories, Value Added Concession and Unbundled Assets Approvals.

The ministry said in the Value-Added Concession initiative, road pavement and entire right-of-way would be on concession for development and management by the concessionaire.

“For the Unbundled Assets Approvals initiative, approvals/permits are issued for individual assets on the right-of-way on a build, operate and or maintain basis,” the ministry stated.

This implies that individuals would now be permitted to develop and maintain assets on the economically viable federal highways in order to boost the economic activities on the roads.

The FMWH stated that the aim of both approaches was to provide adequate highway services through the development of revenue-generating assets along the highways.

“This is key to maintaining the functionality of the highway as well as engaging and generating wealth for indigenous small and medium enterprises,” it stated.

It further explained that the HDMI was expected to be anchored on private sector engagement via the concession of economically viable routes to technically and financially capable private companies.

This, according to ministry, would be through the management and development of the right-of-way.

On how individuals and groups could participate in the scheme, the government said it was determined to ensure that its assets were entrusted into capable hands.

It therefore advised interested persons, companies and groups to form consortiums of construction/road maintenance companies, financiers, toll operators, rest house operators, advertising companies, lane marking experts, refuse managers, among others.